5 Publication Design Tips for Improved Readability

Professional publication design is all about communicating effectively. While you certainly want your magazine, newsletter or annual report to look great, the real goal is to inform and educate your reader. The key to doing that is to design your publication for easy readability.

Here are five simple tips to do just that.

Balance Text with Visuals

Too much text will overwhelm your reader and cause reader fatigue. To make information easier to absorb and therefore more engaging, it is critical to add visuals to break up text – these are typically photographs and graphics but other tools such as pull quotes can also do the trick.

Additionally, consider presenting some of your information as visuals rather than text; infographics and charts are excellent ways to easily communicate information.

Use Clean Professional Fonts

Since publication design generally utilizes large sections of text, place a priority on clean typefaces and legibility. Don’t limit yourself to just one font but don’t get carried away – a good rule of thumb is to use no more than three fonts.

Be sure to make it easy on your readers’ eyes by not going below 10 pt in size – you may be able to read tiny type, but it will frustrate many readers. And while reversed out text can be very cool design-wise, make sure it is still easy to read.

Don’t Fear White Space

White space typically attracts more attention than a cluttered design and increases readability by not overwhelming the reader. It also provides organization for the many different elements in a publication while providing your reader with some much-needed visual relief.

Use Big Bold Images

Like white space, the use of large, high-quality photos/art combats reader fatigue by breaking up text. When possible, use your own photography but don’t be afraid to purchase high-end royalty free imagery such as that found on sites like iStockPhoto.com or canstockphoto.com.

Great imagery is surprisingly inexpensive these days and will really make your publication pop.

Align Text and Graphics

Few things look more amateurish than a mishmash of text and images that seem to be designed in a Word document. For a clean, professional look your text and graphic elements should generally be aligned. Designers typically use an invisible grid system to keep things clean and orderly. Once you have established a clean, professional look, you can then break this “rule” occasionally to add impact and visual diversity.

Follow these five publication design tips and you will be well on your way to delivering a publication that is easy to consume and a pleasure to read. If you accomplish this then you can rest assured that you are communicating effectively – which is pretty much the point of professional publication design.

The Publication Experts make publications easy. We help companies produce exceptional publications without the hassles of trying to do it in-house or working with general agencies who lack publication expertise. Want to make your publication easy? Schedule a no-obligation call today by clicking here.

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Posted in Employee Publications, Insights, Newsletters / Magazines.

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